Vae Victus

Classical Musings on a Modern World - Politics, Military Analysis, Dog Training, and More

Location: Chicago, IL

I am a consultant from chicago where I live with my wife, our dog, and two cats

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Another Sunday with a morning filled with coffee and the newspaper. Unfortunately for me, it also means a Clarence Page article and another attack in the Tribune's "War on the War" as I like to call it.

Going beyond what anything other than loony leftists have done to this point, Clarence Page finally says what all of the columnists and reporters have been hinting at these past few weeks - he says we should just leave Iraq. Of course, he couches it in some weasel words, but there isn't any other disceranable point in the article.

Why should we leave? In his view we don't have an exit strategy and need to come up with one. Instead of taking the President at his word (which has remained remarkably consistent throughout all of this), he instead reaches for the worst possible solution, an immediate or a target withdrawal. His claim is that the American troops are an "impediment" to the process we've tried to implement in Iraq, and that we'd be better off leaving.

There is almost certainly a target for troop withdrawals in Iraq, and it is almost certainly something the Military and the President doesn't want to share with its terrorist and Sunni adversaries in Iraq. Already American troop levels are below the peak at the war and there have been comments indicating that those levels will go lower. Certainly, one can opine about the types of operations that are being run in Iraq. There has been no more talk about Fallujah (not even the standard followup on what was once seen as the indication of a quagmire. I guess the operations there have been too successful for the media to report them) . Instead, operations are occurring on the border between Syria and Iraq now, sealing up areas that we didn't have the luxury of dealing with before, and American troops are being more and more proactive against the terrorists.

The central problem of Page's article is that he believes that the war is all of Iraq against the US. He states,
"Bush's recent speeches inaccurately cast the war as an us-versus-them battle with terrorists. In fact, the U.S. increasingly looks like an outside
force caught up in the crossfire of a developing civil war between multiple
Iraqi factions, principally the old Baath party and the ethnic factions of the
Kurds, Shiites and Sunni Muslims"

What Page fails to realize here is that this is war against 2 primary groups: the Sunni Baath party supporters who long for a return to the good old days and the hardened terrorists who have come from far away to fight the great and evil Americans. The Kurds and Shiites may not always love us, but we are on their side and for the most part, they've committed to a democratic process that recognizes different ethic groups and the rights of individuals.

American tactics are working and if the media would ever send a reporter outside of their Baghdad hotel they might see the results (can any of them claim 1/2 the level of courage that Michael Yon is showing?). Instead, we get baked over re-written reports from reporters who aren't truly reporting, but who are nonetheless pushing their beliefs into everything they write (or at least allowing those beliefs to choose which stories get reported). The worst thing for this effort would be for the US to state a "deadline" for withdrawal. That is a sure tactic to allow the terrorists to continue their efforts and to have a 'deadline' of their own.

However, Page doesn't want the reader to realize that the US does enjoy increasing support in Iraq and in other Muslim countries and that that support has shown up in recent polls. Interesting that he chooses to highlight a poll showing the President's support in Iraq being incredibly soft after a month of non-stop beatings by the press, but chooses to ignore a report showing that the a good part of the rest of the Islamic world is starting to notice and support the US.

Perhaps that is because Page isn't concerned with an honest portrayal of the situation. Perhaps he is more concerned with a humiliating loss for the President than he is with hoping for a positive outcome in Iraq.


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